In the video below: Mark Cahill preaching on the Church of Laodicea from the book of Revelation. Very convicting and challenging. Check out Mark Cahill’s ministry and get some of the great resources Mark Cahill has at his website: http://www.markcahill.org
Megachurch pastors of the Carolina’s, Steven Furtick and Perry Noble, are the successors of Church Growth for this generation, following in the footsteps of Purpose Driven pastor Rick Warren and Seeker-Sensitive pastor Bill Hybels. And they want your money! To further establish the Warren connection, Furtick was welcomed at Saddleback earlier this year (source) and Noble was brought by Warren to speak at the Radicalis conference (source).
This article will look at a recent video from Noble on tithing and the new story NBC Charlotte obtains confidential Elevation report.
In this video, Noble requests the first ten percent of the financial income of his megachurch. To Christians like myself who believe that tithing is a sad parody of an Old Testament ordinance for the Levites who ministered in the Temple, Perry says, “You’re stupid,” and, “You don’t read your Bible.” Noble goes on to teach “the principle of the first fruits” by citing Genesis 4 of Abel’s sacrifice, Genesis 14 of Abraham’s tithe to Milchizedek, Genesis 28 of Jacob’s giving a tenth of all, which by the way do demonstrate giving sacrifice to God, but cannot outweigh the fact that the New Testament does not teach tithing at all. Genesis 14 and 28 are often used in support of tithing but both occasions were one-time instances and were not ongoing practices for either man.
Noble then tries to apply Matthew 6:33 to tithing by suggesting that “seeking first” is the giving of the tithe. Jesus said, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Seeking first the kingdom of God is doing the things pleasing to God, and has nothing to do with tithing. “All of these things” does refer our clothing, our food, daily needs, including finances (as Noble says), and these will be provided by God for us if we seek to please Him. This verse has nothing to do with tithing! Noble continues his reaching in trying to establish tithing from a New Testament standpoint by citing Matthew 23:23 (which applies to Pharisees under the Law of Moses who Jesus rebuked for meticulously observing the tithe while neglecting weightier matters of the law).
1 Corinthians 16:1,2 are often cited to support tithing but Paul said no such thing. Paul did encourage sacrificial giving to those in need in all his epistles: “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.” Noble says the first ten percent off of our income belongs to God (or New Spring Church). Noble then threatens his hearers by saying that God will take their first 10 percent by breaking down their vehicles and putting their children in the hospital if they refuse to give it up.
Jesus did say, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). There is certainly a principle of charitable and sacrificial giving in the New Testament. Christianity actually demands more than the 10 percent of Judaism. Everything that the Christian owns belongs to God and we should give to those ministers who labor in the Word and doctrine (1 Corinthians 9:14), and to the poor and needy (Matthew 10:8; Galatians 2:10), especially of the household of faith (Galatians 6:10). But there is no obligatory 10 percent tithing law for Christians. “For if there be first a willing mind, [it is] accepted according to that a man hath, [and] not according to that he hath not” (2 Corinthians 8:12). There is nothing wrong with giving 90 percent to the church if it really needed it, but New Spring and Elevation, like many other megachurches, exemplify poor stewardship with their large buildings and excessive spending.
“The Daniel Plan” details a healthy lifestyle program based on five essential principles of faith, food, fitness, focus and friends. The program was developed and originated at Saddleback Church in 2011 and within the first year more than 15,000 church members lost a collective of more than 250,000 pounds while experiencing decreases in health issues and stress and increases in spiritual growth and energy.
“The Daniel Plan is far more than a diet; it is about living a healthier life based on biblical principles,” said Warren. “While all five essentials are necessary, it is the components of faith and friends that I believe are the secret sauce that make the plan so effective. When you have God and a group helping you stay on track, you have far more than willpower driving you to make positive changes and you are far more likely to stay consistent.” (source)
For those who missed the 2011 Daniel Plan initiative at Saddleback Church, let us review some of the problems here. The “Daniel Plan” was a 52-week health initiative. The doctors to kick-off Saddleback’s health and wellness initiative were Dr. Mehmet Oz, Dr. Daniel Amen, and Dr. Mark Hyman. On the Daniel Plan website, Rick Warren says the Daniel Plan is based on the book of Daniel chapter one wherein “Daniel challenged the king of Persia to a health contest,” says Warren. Warren states that Daniel challenged the king to his “rich foods” while Daniel would eat his “healthy foods” and then they would see who was healthier at the end (source).
It seems as though Rick Warren is grasping for any biblical support for his health initiative. Though Daniel was healthy at the end of 10 days of eating only vegetables and drinking only water (Daniel 1:12-14), the prophet was not concerned about being healthy but being ceremonially defiled. “Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat” (Daniel 1:8). The Jews often ate meat from preparing animal sacrifices and such, but the reason Daniel did not want to defile himself with the king’s meat is because it was ceremonially unclean in the way it was prepared. Daniel was a righteous man who sought to keep all the laws of God, especially avoiding the eating of blood in meats or eating pork. As a captive to the Babylonians, he had no say in how the Babylonians meat was prepared and wanted to avoid to defiling himself with unkosher meat. 70 years later, Daniel did partake of the Babylonians meat because he was exalted to a position in the empire where he could choose how it was prepared according to the Jews preparations (Daniel 10:1-3). Therefore, it was Daniel’s primary intention in not eating the king’s meat to honor God and keep His commandments. Rick Warren’s “Daniel Plan” does just the opposite.